Sunday, February 17, 2008


LONG AGO IN Cebu Mountaineering Society (CeMS) history, way back in 1992, when I first started to attend CeMS group activities; the place at #16 Kabahar Street, Guadalupe, Cebu City, was the unofficial venue of CeMS regular membership meetings and some other special gatherings.

Actually, it is a two-storey old house made of lumber at the upper part, painted white at the exteriors, with GI sheet roofings and of semi-concrete on the lower part. The upper part of the house could be accessed via a wooden stairway on the front and another narrow wooden stairway at the back. It is on the upper floor where CeMS held its official organizational gatherings then, simply because two of its members, namely: Anne Gonzales (now Mrs. Vidal) and Claribel Delgra (Mrs. Abrahan) used to live there.

They were gracious of their time and of their living room space and their budget! Their sala was big enough (and sturdy!) to accommodate thirty or so visitors. In it where a very small TV set, a VHS player (no VCD/DVD then), a telephone set, a mini-component and cassette player, a sofa set and voluminous reading materials like mountaineering magazines plus scrapbooks of pictures of CeMS climbs.

It is a place where we hobnob with each other, exchanging ideas or gears, a watering hole of sort and a place where we learn of available gears that were for sale. I bought my backpack, a 1989 circa Habagat Venado II, there and am still using it until now and I learned that it is now a collectible item. Good heavens!

I started to visit that house many times over after my first climb with CeMS at Mount Pangasugan, and I found good company and friendly relations on the following gents: then president - Tony Cabigon, Bebut Estillore, Patrick Young, Atong Genato, Dennis Legaspi, Alex Manlawe, Ben Lao and Nanding Mercado and with the gals: Anne, Claribel, Lilibeth Initan, Calot Tan, Lani Perez and Rosebelle Daculan. You see, it is like my second home. 

If ever my time would permit, or of theirs, we would converge at the house on Guadalupe and talk of things related to mountaineering and other topics over bottles of Tanduay Rum chased with water or juice or over bottles of San Miguel Grande, if we're not scrimping hard-earned money; and our drinking sessions are not complete without Timbura, roasted peanuts or even Atong's one-month expired chicharon!

Normally, our drinking sorties would start after supper and would usually end near or after midnight and, once, I was so drunk that I slept while driving my Honda Trendy motorcycle and awoken to my senses when I bumped a Volkswagen Beetle parked along V. Rama avenue. That taught me a lesson never to drive when drunk.

We bonded so much and so close that, without our doing, we became a power block of sort to cause influence over other members with regards to choosing another set of club officers. You guess it? One of our own, Lilibeth, went on to replace another of our own, Tony, as CeMS president.

For many, many months our life would center around home, office or school, at campsites and at Kabahar street. Sometimes, we changed venue for a time at Bebut's boarding house at R. R. Landon Extension, at Sideline in Baseline, in Bazura Bar in Nivel Hills and other places, but, always, we would meet and start at Guadalupe.

Aside from them, I also maintained good relations with the elder members of CeMS like Sir Joe Avellanosa (may his soul rest in peace), Dr. Abe Manlawe, Daddy Frank Cabigon, Judge Menmen Paredes, Sir Rex Vecina, Atty. Al Jovellar and of others and we helped each other out, especially during out-of-town sorties, SRT and rappelling sessions or camp cook-outs.

In time, I got engrossed so much with my work that my visits to Kabahar street where now few and far between, until I vanished from the mountaineering scene for a time and finding the opportunity to go there was always a hanging question. That became permanent when the two lady occupants went serious with their love relations and tied the knot with Ramon Vidal and Cliff Abrahan, respectively, both dedicated and responsible mountaineers (and husbands) from CAMP1 and USC-M2 and they decided to transfer residence in another place.

Though CeMS was organized in Mount Manunggal, that house in Kabahar street took a role in nursing CeMS in those early years. Reminiscing those happy and good times would elicit nostalgia on my part. That includes those individuals mentioned above. They too, would feel it. I don't know now if that house still exists today but I know it has been existing in my memories and would gladly write about it where, it seems, I'm already doing it with this article.

Document done in OpenOffice 2.1 Writer, Trebuchet MS font, size 12.
1Cebu Assailants of Mountains and Peaks.
2University of San Carlos Mountaineers.


Anonymous said...

mao ning lugara nga gi indian ko sa akong first eyeball...

makalagot tong bayahana..

PinoyApache said...


mao ning lugara si tony nahulog sa hagdanan.

palahubog man gud, mora'g ako.